Office 365 Weekly Digest | February 26 – March 4, 2017


Welcome to the February 26 – March 4, 2017 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest. It was busy last week in the Message Center, highlighted by notifications that Office 365 Groups are now integrated with Yammer and details on changes related to eDiscovery, Client Access Rules, Azure Active Directory Synchronization and more. The event extravaganza for March continues with a variety of events such as three Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA) sessions this week, including the first ever Azure Active Directory AMA, a FastTrack webinar with an inside look at successful Office 365 adoption and more opportunities to experience Microsoft Teams. "What's new" is the theme of last week's blog posts with lots of new features in the Office 365 Admin Center, including significant improvements to the Service Health Dashboard, as well as February updates to Office 365 ProPlus 2016. Rounding out this week's post are over 20 updates to the Office 365 URLs and IP Address Ranges, February feature updates to Power BI and General Availability (GA) for Azure AD Connect Health monitoring for Windows Server AD DS and Sync Error Reports.


MESSAGE CENTER

Note: The information below may not be posted to your Office 365 tenant as not all notifications apply to all tenants. The Message Center ID for notifications could also be slightly different than those posted in your tenant.

 

New Feature: Learning Tools for OneNote Online

MC94710 | Posted: February 27, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | Office 365 Roadmap ID: 61735 | New features in Learning Tools, currently available in OneNote desktop along with Word Online and Word desktop, are now rolling out to OneNote Online with modify views and include techniques that help people read more effectively, such as: (1) Read Aloud reads text out loud with simultaneous highlighting which improves decoding, fluency, and comprehension while sustaining focus and attention, (2) Spacing optimizes font spacing in a narrow column view to improve reading fluency for users who suffer from “visual crowding” issues and (3) Syllables shows the breaks between syllables to improve word recognition and decoding. Learning Tools is now available for OneNote Online in Office 365, providing an immersive reader that helps everyone on any device improve their reading skills; including those with dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD, and English Language Learners (ELL). Please visit Learning Tools for Word Online and OneNote Online now available, plus new languages for additional information.

 

Reminder: We are removing Windows Azure Active Directory Synchronization from Office 365

MC94732 | Posted: February 27, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Plan for Change | Action: Required by April 12, 2017 at 5:59 PM UTC | As we communicated, in April 2016, via MC45036, we will be removing the Windows Azure Active Directory Synchronization feature from Office 365, beginning April 13, 2017. Azure Active Directory (AD) Connect is the best way to connect your on-premises directory with Azure AD and Office 365. Azure AD Connect is replacing DirSync and Azure AD Sync and these two older sync engines were deprecated from April 13, 2016, reaching end of support April 13, 2017. You are receiving this message because you are using DirSync, Azure AD Sync, or an Azure AD Connect installation released before 2016. After April 13, 2017, you will no longer be able to open a support case without first upgrading to Azure AD Connect. More details are available at Upgrade Windows Azure Active Directory Sync and Azure Active Directory Sync.

 

New Feature: SharePoint Framework

MC94739 | Posted: February 27, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | Office 365 Roadmap ID: 48113 | SharePoint Framework is a new Office 365 feature. You’ll begin seeing this new feature over the coming weeks. The SharePoint Framework facilitates developers to build web parts using client-side (JavaScript) technologies. These web parts can be used within both Classic and Modern pages. Available as a Developer Preview since August 2016, developers have been able to test and deploy their web parts to sites in a preview capacity for the purpose of validating functionality. At General Availability, usage of SharePoint Framework web parts within production SharePoint sites is now supported. Administrators can deploy SharePoint Framework Client-side Solutions via their App Catalog to make them available within their tenancy. Site owners can use SharePoint Framework client-side web parts in Classic and Modern pages. Developers who have been creating SharePoint Framework web parts should read the General Availability release notes to learn more about updates and changes with the General Availability version of the SharePoint Framework. Administrators can now deploy custom-developed SharePoint Framework parts, and site owners can use those parts within pages in SharePoint. Please visit https://dev.office.com/sharepoint for additional information.

 

New Feature: Office 365 connected Yammer Groups

MC94740 | Posted: February 27, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | Office 365 Roadmap ID: 840 | We have started rolling out Office 365 connected Yammer groups. When a new Yammer group is created, a corresponding Office 365 group will be created in Azure Active Directory, and Office 365 Group resources will be provisioned. This rollout is expected to be completed in the next few days. Going forward, you will be able to manage Office 365 connected Yammer groups in Azure Active Directory, similar to other Office 365 groups. Also, each new group created in Yammer will get an associated SharePoint site, SharePoint document library, OneNote notebook, and a Planner plan. This will only affect customers who have enforced Office 365 identity for Yammer users, and who are in the 'One Office 365 tenant associated with one Yammer network' (1 tenant:1 network) configuration. This will only apply to new Yammer groups. Learn more at Yammer groups are now Office 365 Groups.

 

Changes to In-Place eDiscovery searches and In-Place Holds with Exchange and SharePoint Online

MC94780 | Posted: February 28, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Plan for Change | Action: Awareness | On July 1, 2017, we are disabling the ability to create new In-Place eDiscovery searches and In-Place Holds (*-MailboxSearch) in the Exchange Admin Center in Exchange Online, as well as the creation of new cases in the eDiscovery Center in SharePoint Online. Scenarios dependent on these features have been transitioned to the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center. In both cases, you will still be able to edit and run existing searches in the Exchange Admin Center and work with existing cases in the SharePoint eDiscovery Center. You are receiving this message because our reporting indicates your organization is using one or more of these features. Beginning July 1, 2017, we will disable the ability to create new In-Place eDiscovery searches and In-Place Holds (*-MailboxSearch) in the Exchange Admin Center in Exchange Online in addition to the creation of new cases in the eDiscovery Center in SharePoint Online. You can continue to interact with all existing searches and holds in the Exchange Admin Center, or eDiscovery Center in SharePoint Online. We are only removing the capability to create new searches. Where possible, discontinue use of existing eDiscovery and Holds using the Exchange Admin Center and eDiscovery Center in SharePoint Online. Start using the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center today. Additional information is available in the Microsoft Tech Community announcement.

 

Feature Update: Change to unused anonymous links

MC94822 | Posted: February 28, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Plan for Change | Action: Awareness | On March 30, 2017, we are adjusting how anonymous access and internal links (people within my organization) are used in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business – to improve reliability and manageability. We are standardizing how sharing links are used and registered in the system to offer you the greatest levels of creation, visibility and control. On March 30, SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business will adjust aspects of anonymous access and internal links (people in my organization) that may impact any links generated before May 2016. Any links created before May 2016, and not used since, may no longer work and the owner will need to recreate a new anonymous link and share it again with the invitee. If a link had been generated AND used before May 2016, it will continue to work after this change. If you have any unused links that you want to continue to work, you just need to click on the link before March 30, 2017. Please review this support article to learn more about sharing documents with people outside your organization.

 

New Feature: Visio Online

MC94873 | Posted: March 1, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | Office 365 Roadmap ID: 60330 | Visio Online is the new way to view and share Visio diagrams on the web. It extends the online viewing experience to all users in your organization, from any device using their favorite browser. Visio JavaScript APIs enable you to extend the capabilities of Visio Online and build rich mashup solutions to meet your organization’s specific needs. Existing Visio Services users will have an upgraded file viewing experience, with reliability and performance improvements, a modern UI and richer consumption capabilities for their .vsdx and .vsdm files. We are extending the browser viewing support to .vsd files as well. Additionally, users without Visio Services licenses will also be able to open .vsdx,.vsdm and .vsd files (stored in SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business) directly in the browser, using Visio Online. Visit our FAQ page to learn more about Visio Online and Visio JavaScript APIs.

 

We’ve made a change to the Microsoft Trust Center

MC95022 | Posted: March 2, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | We have updated the subcontractors list for the services offered under the Data Processing Terms (DPT) section of our Online Services Terms (OST). As you might be aware, security, compliance and privacy information about our Online Services is located in the Microsoft Trust Center. As a commitment to transparency, anytime we add new vendors/subcontractors, we disclose this information in the Microsoft Trust Center and send you a notification about this change. The Microsoft Online Services Subcontractor List was recently revised to include the subcontractor Databricks, Inc. to help manage customer data. Along with this addition, we have updated location information for “Accenture” to include “Accenture (d/b/a Avenade)”. Updated list has been published on the Microsoft Trust Center. The new subcontractor can be used 6 months after the publish date. To view the updated Subcontractor's List and get familiar with changes to the Microsoft Trust Center, please visit https://aka.ms/subcontractors.

 

Update to Client Access Rules for Office 365 customers

MC95023 | Posted: March 2, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | Microsoft is making a change that will impact how Client Access Rules (CAR) work in Office 365. We will be adding support for managing the REST API with Client Access Rules. Previously, the predicate for ExchangeWebServices (EWS) applied to both the EWS protocol and REST API. The upcoming updates to Exchange Client Access Rules will allow for these connection types to be managed independently. This update will be particularly important to those who are looking to deploy or currently using Outlook for iOS and Android, as those apps use REST APIs to sync mail, calendar and contact information with Office 365. On June 1, 2017, 60 days after REST is available and independently manageable, Microsoft will disable the ability for Outlook for iOS and Android to use EAS in favor of REST. Over the next several weeks, you will start seeing the REST predicate added to your existing CARs that include EWS predicates. This change will be visible on your existing CARs in Windows PowerShell. The changes will not affect the behavior of your existing CARs. If you are blocking EWS and want to use Outlook for iOS & Android, you will need to ensure that REST access is allowed by June 1, 2017, so that users do not lose email access in those apps. Additional information is available at Update of Client Access Rules for Office 365 Customers.

 

Planned Maintenance: Yammer database

MC95135 | Posted: March 3, 2017 | Urgency: Normal | Category: Stay Informed | Action: Awareness | We have maintenance planned for Yammer database, starting at 18:00 UTC on March 11, 2017 and ending on 18:01 UTC on March 11, 2017. As part of this planned maintenance, the following feature areas may be affected: Yammer may experience momentary unavailability as patches are applied to databases. These interruptions are expected to be less than 60 seconds. There are no workarounds during this planned maintenance, however, impact should be minimal. Refreshing the Yammer page will likely resolve.

 


UPCOMING EVENTS

Azure Active Directory Webinars for March

When: Multiple sessions currently scheduled through March 16, 2017 | Are you looking to deploy Azure Active Directory quickly and easily? We are offering free webinar briefings on key Azure Active Directory deployment topics! Sessions include: Getting Ready for Azure AD, Streamlining Password Management, Securing Your Identities with Multi-Factor Authentication, Managing Enterprise Applications and Accessing Your Organization’s Internal Apps. Each 1-hour or 75-minute webinar is designed to support IT Pros in quickly rolling out Azure Active Directory features to their organization. All webinars are free of cost and will include an anonymous Q&A session with our Engineering Team. So come with your questions!  Capacity is limited. Sign up for one or all of the sessions today!

 

Office 365 Groups in Yammer: Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA)

When: Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at 9:00am PT | An AMA is a live online event similar to a “YamJam” on Yammer or an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. Please add the event to your calendar and join us on Tuesday March 7, 2017 from 9:00am to 10:00am PST in the Yammer AMA group. This live online event will give you the opportunity to connect with members of the product and engineering teams who will be on hand to answer your questions and listen to feedback regarding the recent announcement that Yammer integration with Office 365 Groups is now rolling out! We hope to see you there!

 

Office 365 US Government: Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA)

When: Wednesday, March 8, 2017 at 9:00am PT | We are excited to announce an Office 365 US Government “Ask Microsoft Anything” (AMA) to coincide with the Microsoft Tech Summit in Washington DC! Please add the event to your calendar and join us on Wednesday, March 8, 2017 from 9:00am to 10:00am PST in the Government AMA group. An AMA is a live online event similar to a “YamJam” on Yammer or an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. This AMA gives you the opportunity to connect with Microsoft SMEs and MVPs who will be on hand to answer your questions and listen to feedback. We hope to see you there!

 

Azure Active Directory: Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA)

When: Thursday, March 9, 2017 at 10:00am PT | We are excited to announce the first ever Azure AD AMA session! This session will be open from 10:00am – 1:00pm PT. We’ll have a broad set of Program Managers and Developers from the Azure Active Directory team participating throughout the day. Go ahead, ask us anything about our public products or the team. But please note, we cannot comment on unreleased features and future plans. An AMA is a live online event similar to a “YamJam” on Yammer or an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. We’re looking forward to having a conversation with you!

 

Office 365 Live Demo Series: Master chat-based collaboration tools in Microsoft Teams

When: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at 9:00am PT | Join this live demo and learn how to: (1) Use chat for today’s teams in a threaded, persistent way that keeps everyone engaged, (2) Participate in a hub that works seamlessly with Office 365 apps, (3) Customize options for each team with channels, connectors, tabs and bots and (4) Add your personality to your team with cool emojis, GIFs and stickers.

 

Microsoft FastTrack: Achieve success with Office 365

When: Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 10:00am PT | Join host Dux Raymond Sy, IT advisor and author, for an inside look at successful Office 365 adoption. Microsoft CIO Jim Dubois will share advice on how to enable digital transformation with Office 365. Mott MacDonald's Business Architect, Simon Denton, will walk through how he helped his colleagues boost productivity by moving to Office 365. And FastTrack Product Manager Sharon Liu will demo the best resources to start your adoption journey and achieve your goals. Reserve your spot today.

 

Online Customer Immersion Experience: Get more done faster with Microsoft Teams

When: Wednesdays through April 5, 2017 at 10:00am PT & 12:00pm PT | Around the world teamwork is on the rise. Research suggests employees now work on nearly double the number of teams than they did just five years ago. This means more than ever people are reliant on their peers to help get things done. But a “one size fits all” approach does not work when it comes to group collaboration—different tools appeal to different groups and address unique needs. Join Microsoft to test drive Office 365 and our hottest new collaboration tool: Microsoft Teams. Each 90-minute session starts with an online business roundtable, discussing your biggest business challenges with a trained facilitator and then transitions into a live environment in the cloud.  You will receive a link to connect your own device to a remote desktop loaded with our latest and greatest technology so you can experience first-hand how Microsoft tools can solve your biggest challenges. Space is limited: each is session is only open to 12 participants.  Reserve your seat now.

 

FastTrack Webinars: Learn how to do more, together

When: Multiple sessions currently scheduled through April 27, 2017 | Ask questions, learn shortcuts and find out how Office 365 can make you and your team more productive. Each webinar is a live, instructor-led session offered at multiple dates and times. Facilitated discussion follows each session, with opportunities to ask questions and discuss specific scenarios to you. Direct registration links for each webinar are provided below.

 


BLOG ROUNDUP

Office 365 news in February—new and improved intelligent services

This month, we released several improvements to our cloud-powered intelligence services. These services use machine learning and advanced algorithms to create magical experiences that save you time and help produce polished, gorgeous content. And they will just get better each month as we deliver continued innovation and further tune our intelligent recommendations as more people use them. These improvements include: (1) QuickStarter in PowerPoint to help you jumpstart your presentations, (2) Enhancements to Editor, your digital writing assistant in Word, (3) Cortana now works with Outlook to remember things you said you'd do in email, (4) Intuitive commands at your fingertips with Touch Bar support in Office for Mac and (5) New Office 365 capabilities that help you proactively manage security and compliance risk. Learn more about what’s new for Office 365 subscribers this month at: Office 2016 | Office for Mac | Office Mobile for Windows | Office for iPhone and iPad | Office on Android Phones and Tablets.

 

What’s new in Office 365 administration—new Service health dashboard now generally available

We’re pleased to announce that the new Office 365 Service health dashboard is now available to all customers. Since the first preview—announced at Ignite in September 2016—the new Service health dashboard has provided admins with a deeper level of service health insight. We’re excited about the rich insights that it is bringing to admins. The dashboard now features a view that separates major business critical outages from others and splits them into two categories: Incidents and Advisories. This view makes it easy for you to identify issues that you might want to act on immediately. A summary view surfaces the most relevant and critical details to you in two short sentences—easy and quick to consume. If you want to access additional details, you can go to a more detailed view that provides you with all available information, including workarounds and message history. You can also access a history of incidents and advisories that occurred in the past 30 days. The dashboard allows you to quickly understand the impact of the service incident on your organization by showing you the number of impacted users. (Please note: This functionality is currently available for Exchange Online–related incidents only and will be extended to other workloads over time.) The post also outlines additional Office 365 administration updates for February including the Weekly Message Center digest and a new Power BI admin role, as well as hints at what's coming in the near future such as the Office 365 adoption content pack for Power BI.

 

Yammer integration with Office 365 Groups now rolling out

Yammer empowers people to work out loud and connect with others across their organization to share ideas and get things done. In Yammer, groups provide the structure for people to gather in open spaces to share best practices, develop into communities of interest and ignite new initiatives. We are pleased to announce the integration of Yammer with Office 365 Groups—the group membership service that provides a single identity for teams in Office 365. Now, when you create a new group in Yammer, it will automatically be part of the Office 365 Groups service, giving the group a OneNote notebook, a Planner for task management, a SharePoint Online team site and document library. With the integration, you and the members of your group can readily access these shared resources directly from Yammer. This integration between Yammer and Office 365 Groups affects customers who have enforced Office 365 identity in their networks, and have only one Yammer network associated with their Office 365 tenant. The full rollout of Office 365 Groups will take place in phases, which will connect Office 365 Groups with existing non-connected Yammer groups and remaining Office 365 tenants. You can also look forward to integration with Outlook Calendar as well as greater enhancements to Yammer integration with SharePoint Online and Planner. Through Office 365 Groups integration, Office 365 administrators will soon be able to use query-based group membership in Yammer based on Azure Active Directory attributes such as role, location and manager. This will ensure that certain groups based on organizational structure dynamically include the right members.

 

Trigger your Flow buttons from the Flow web site

There is a now an easy way to test and run your Flow buttons from inside your My flows or Team flows lists on the Flow web site. When looking at your flow list, simply select the More (...) menu for the flow you want to run. You will see a new Run now command. Note that the Run now only shows up for the flows that have triggers you can invoke on-demand, such as the Flow button trigger or the Recurrence trigger. Flows that run in response to other events, such as when you get a new email or when a file is added, cannot be explicitly run. This week, we also added support for five new services: Oracle Database, Intercom, FreshBooks, LeanKit and WebMerge.

 


NOTEWORTHY

Updated: Office 365 URLs and IP Address Ranges

February 28, 2017 & March 2, 2017: Updates for Exchange Online Protection, Microsoft Teams, Office 365 portal and shared, Office 365 authentication and identity, OneNote Notebooks, SharePoint Online and Skype for Business Online. Details on the updates are available on the RSS feed and the complete list is located here. | Additional Resources: Managing Office 365 Endpoints, Content Delivery Networks and Client Connectivity.

 

Skype for Business on Mac: AMA Summary

The summary from the Skype for Business on Mac Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA) session on February 23, 2017 is now posted! The live hour of Q&A provided members the opportunity to ask questions and voice feedback with the product team. We hope you will join us live next time!

 

Azure AD Connect Health: Monitoring for Windows Server AD DS and Sync Error Reports are GA + simplified licensing

It’s a big day for Azure AD! We're happy to let you know that: (1) Azure AD Connect Health for Windows Server AD DS is now GA!, (2) Azure AD Connect Health Sync Error Reports is now GA! and (3) based on your feedback, we’ve simplified the Azure AD Connect Health licensing model.

 

Power BI Service February Feature Summary

It’s been another busy month for the Power BI team. Each week, we’ve released updates to the Power BI service, rolling out new features and improving existing ones. Worried you missed something? Fear not! In this post, we’ll recap all the features we’ve released in the last month such as Navigation Preview improvements, ability to embed Power BI dashboards into your application and the ability to integrate Power BI reports in SharePoint Online.

 

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